In making idle conversation with my son, I asked him if he could go to any country in the world, where would he choose to go? After a few seconds thought he said he couldn’t choose between Japan, America and France.

Intrigued to know what his criteria was for choosing these countries, I asked him to explain what appealed to him most about those countries. In my mind I was visualizing the cultural splendor and beautiful scenery in each of these countries.

‘I’d like to go to Japan,’ he said, ‘as they have really cool toilets.’ Trying to keep a straight face I asked what he like about France. ‘It would be awesome to go to France because you could eat croissants.’

Finally I asked what he liked about America and he responded that America has Disneyland (of course).

It led me to think that there is a niche in the market for a large theme park with automated toilets that sells flaky pastries. It would be my son’s version of nirvana!

I love that kids have such a simplified view of the world, however I must admit, it made me cringe a little that my son would choose to visit a country based solely upon it’s toileting gadgets!

(Photo courtesy of stockimages, freedigitalphotos.net)



We are about to take a huge leap of faith and entrust our sixteen year old daughter to a family on the other side of the world for a few weeks. Whilst on a cultural school trip to China last year our daughter met a girl from Spain and they became firm friends, organizing a private exchange to take place this year. Thankfully this girl speaks fluent English, however the same can’t be said for her parents.

We have skyped the family to ‘meet’ them, however it was a slow and interesting process having the Spanish daughter translate everything we said to them and then translate their response in return. 

As much as we are a little nervous about sending our daughter to Spain, we actually host the Spanish girl first, so her family is taking an even bigger leap of faith entrusting us with their daughter first. Our plan is to show her the sights of Sydney and give her a glimpse of our life in Australia. I’m not sure how she will cope being thrust into our family, as with four children, our household can be loud and raucous at times, whilst she is an only child that is used to peace and quiet.

Our daughter will miss a few weeks of school whilst in Spain, but I believe she will learn life skills and have cultural experiences that will far outweigh the lessons she will miss. It is such an amazing opportunity for her to be welcomed into another family and be shown how others in this world live. I’m interested to see if it changes her outlook on life and influences her in anyway when planning her future.

So next week, we will meet our new little Spanish friend at the airport with banners, balloons and open arms and I will mumble the only real statement I can think of in Spanish ‘Mi casa es su casa’ (my home is your home) and hope that she feels at home with our family!



(Picture courtesy of pinkblue, freedigitialphotos.net)